Geotechnical/Geological Engineer

The occupation of a geological engineer involves task such as identifying and solving problems involving soil, rock and groundwater. Geological engineers design structures in and below the ground, using the principles of earth science.

Personal requirements of a geological engineer may include:

  • Enjoy technical and engineering work
  • Able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Well developed oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for computing and design
  • Being practical and creative
  • Able to work without supervision
  • Willing to accept responsibility
  • Being able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Enjoy working outdoors, sometimes in remote locations

Geological engineers may complete the following tasks:

  • Investigate the engineering feasibility of planned new developments involving soil, rock and groundwater
  • Design major structures in rock such as tunnels, basements and shafts
  • Perform computer analyses, use computer databases and generate computer-aided designs
  • Work out strategies to control landslides and areas of potential instability
  • Act in managerial positions and be responsible for coordination of multi-disciplinary study teams, staff recruitment and matters of work organisation.

Jobs in this group usually require completion of a Bachelor degree in engineering, with a major in geoscience or geotechnical engineering. Some jobs in this occupation may also require post-graduate study, such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or Master degree. The various universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Currently there are no degree courses in engineering with a major in geoscience or geotechnical engineering available in Queensland. However, students may be able to complete part of a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree in Queensland and then transfer to another university in Australia that specialises in geological engineering. 

Major industries in which geological engineers are employed include coal seam gas and liquefied gas, mining and environmental industries, as well as federal and state or territory government organisations. There are also opportunities for promotion within companies and departments, or for self-employment.